The Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) has reacted strongly to the penalty levied on Times Now. In a statement issued, the Association stated: “The quantum of penalty levied on Times Now is unheard of. It is not only unreasonable, but can set a precedent that would threaten the independent functioning of news media in the country. Media in India is very vibrant and has helped uphold the strong democratic traditions of our country. It should be allowed to function and grow. At AIM (Association of Indian Magazines), we are extremely concerned about this development and hope for a fair outcome that will encourage media in India to continue to operate independently and fearlessly.”
It may be recalled that Times Now had erroneously ran for 15 seconds the picture of Justice PB Sawant instead of that of a judge, with a phonetically similar sounding name, accused in the Ghaziabad court PF scam. The news channel did not repeat the picture in subsequent bulletins and also apologised to Justice Sawant, and ran an apology for five continuous days on the channel.
A Pune court awarded damages amounting to Rs 100 crore against Times Now in the defamation case. The Supreme Court recently dismissed a Special Leave Petition filed by Times Now, which sought relief against a High Court decree that stipulated the channel to deposit Rs 20 crore and furnish bank guarantee for Rs 80 crore to hear an appeal the defamation case.
IBF, INS express concern over SC decision in Times Now case